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Ten kitchen planning tips to add wow factor and boost your home's value

Is your kitchen so tiny that no one wants to spend any time in it? Or is it so large it feels cold and empty? Perhaps it’s just dated and out of step with modern needs. When it comes to selling your property, if your kitchen doesn’t inspire you, it probably won’t excite potential buyers, either, and it goes without saying – kitchens sell homes!

Read on for an array of extra-special kitchen makeovers, along with insights into exactly what it is that gives them their star appeal – and how you can take inspiration from these schemes when reviving your own cook space.

Contemporary Kitchen

Start from the bottom up Imagine walking into this room and listening to your footsteps. Good-quality flooring sounds as good as it looks. And, if your kitchen leads onto other rooms, it makes sense to link the spaces with the same flooring, like the beautiful wood parquet seen here.

Concerns about how well wood holds up in a steamy kitchen environment are understandable, but you should have no problems with a well-oiled or varnished wooden floor. Your supplier should be able to advise you on the most practical finish. Alternatively, consider good-looking stone or porcelain tiles for the same amount of ‘wow factor’.

Leamington Spa Kitchen
Inject extra colour
Interiors decorated in neutral hues, such as white, black, cream and grey, are ever popular, but these days we’re becoming braver with colour. You may hesitate to go overboard with bright and vibrant kitchen cabinetry, but muted shades, such as the lilac used here, can be just as striking. Or you can simply opt for bright accessories to create dashes of colour.

Discover how to be inventive with colour.

Family kitchen

Be bold with cabinetry To ensure your kitchen really stands out from that of your friends and neighbours, talk to your kitchen designer, interior designer or carpenter and discuss designs that will raise the status of simple cabinetry. Your kitchen units should make a strong visual contribution to the style of the whole room.

In this kitchen, striking grey units trimmed in stainless steel have been teamed with a bespoke island unit that combines a stylish display area with an eye-catching breakfast bar, and this becomes the focal point of the room. 

Hadley Wood | Luxury Bespoke Kitchen

Add a unique element A really special kitchen has a talking point – an eye-catching detail that gives it its wow factor. The rich grain on the base of the round table delicately balanced at the end of this island unit is the only pattern in quite a large area. Consequently, it’s become the focus of the whole room. This attention to detail is what makes this space stand out.

Other features to focus on could include a striking splashback, bespoke dining chairs or unusual cooking gadgets, such as a smokery.

Fulham Town House
Don’t be afraid to start again If you’re replacing your kitchen, it’s not worth cutting corners; a fluid and bespoke design that complements the style and age of the property is well worth the extra investment.
Don’t worry about the positions of existing radiators and plug sockets – focus instead on working to a new floor plan that makes the best use of the space. When you’re spending thousands of pounds on a new kitchen, you should be prepared to change the position of most things in order to make it function and look its best.

Read expert advice on what to consider when commissioning a bespoke kitchen.

Naomi Astley Clarke Portfolio

Create a room with a view Natural light is important and everyone craves more of it. It’s very rare for us to choose to have less light and, whenever we can, we like to open up our kitchens to the garden. If the view outside is attractive, this can usurp the kitchen and become the star – and why not?

If you have a great scene to look out on to, allow the cabinetry to sit in the wings. Here, even the island doesn’t stand out. Instead, it encourages the eye to travel past it into the distance, creating a sense of extra space.

Interiors - Kitchens
Pay attention to small details A show-stopping kitchen works from the inside out. What do you see when you open cupboard doors and drawers? Is it a cluttered mess, or is it beautiful? If utensils, crockery, glasses and groceries can be stored neatly, they will be a breeze to find and to put away. This will make it much easier for the kitchen to be kept neat and tidy and to stay looking wonderful. If you do put your home up for sale, prospective buyers will look inside your units, too.
A place to cook
Choose handles with care Besides serving an important function, cupboard and drawer handles provide a strong design element, too. Many people now prefer handleless drawers and doors or ones that have a scoop shaped into them to avoid the need to add handles. Whichever you prefer, be aware that it will make a big difference to how your kitchen looks.
In this scheme, the knobs are dominant not only because there are lots of them, but also because they are large. Due to their dark colour on a light background, they give a great sense of order. It’s a very clever and cost-effective means of introducing a key element that makes an ordinary kitchen into something extra special.

Browse decorative handles to transform any door.

Contemporary Kitchen

Shine the spotlight Try using parallels and repetitions to bring order with your style. For example, if you have space for three bar stools, then choose to have just three lights above, as seen here. These shiny pendants are perfectly suited to this potential party space, as they reflect the convivial atmosphere back into the room with their mirrored finish.

This scheme proves that if you can use theatrical terms to describe your kitchen, you will probably have already achieved that ‘wow’ factor.


Cool, spacious kitchen with a modern twist

Turn negatives into positives Renovation projects and conversions sometimes leave awkward spaces in which to plan a kitchen, but by thinking creatively you can normally overcome most problems.

In this scheme, removing the ceiling has turned what would have felt like a cramped and crowded space into a bright and airy room full of character. And the exposed beams make a fabulous feature.

Yasmin Chopin, Houzz Contributor

About our expert View all posts by this expert

Houzz Experts

Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world.

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